There are two seats open on the Burbank City Council in the February 24, 2015 primary election. The biggest issue in this election is development. Incumbent, Emily Gabel-Luddy, is running for re-election, but her pro-development views are problematic. Gabel-Luddy has come across as a cheerleader for development for her “yes” votes and fierce defense of the bloated Talaria/Whole Foods project and the failed very dense North Third Street project. In fairness, Gabel-Luddy was the lone “no” vote on the city council for the controversial Walmart at the Empire Center back in February of 2012. That project is now in legal limbo as the giant retailer takes its case to court later this month.
Development in moderation is what Burbank needs. The Media City will grow, parcels with be developed, but this must not be done in a manner that appears to throw the doors open for over-sized projects. The needs of the residents, neighborhoods, and the quality of life in the city ( think traffic, congestion, and demands on city services) should be primary considerations and not afterthoughts.
Juan Guillen and David Nos are strong candidates who would be able to face down high-powered suits and sometimes overzealous or misguided city staffers, when it comes to development and other important issues. Guillen has demonstrated a willingness to stand up for residents and neighborhoods. Nos is neither pro nor anti-development, but a voice of reason that will give all aspects of a project careful deliberation before making a decision. Both candidates have deep roots in Burbank and have been active members in the community.
Media City Groove endorsements for Burbank City Council are:
There are six candidates vying for three seats on the Burbank School Board. Incumbent, Roberta Reynolds, is president of the board and a two-term member. Reynolds has admitted to conducting a low-key campaign, saying her plan is to “run on my record.” That’s the status quo. I think the school board could use an infusion of fresh approaches and new ideas.
School board candidate, Steve Ferguson, who attended Burbank schools, is a community activist and an advocate for more vocational training. Dr. Armond Aghakhanian is an educator who champions smaller class sizes and more school counselors. Vahe Hovanessian, long-time Burbank resident and community activist, is a practicing attorney, who not only brings legal knowledge but experience as a litigator to the table. Both Aghakhanian and Hovanessian are parents with children in Burbank schools.
Media City Groove endorsements for Burbank School Board are: